Minn. shaping up to be important primary for some candidates

Twelve states hold primary or caucus Tues. March 1

Minnesota will be taking part in Super Tuesday for the first time.

Voters in 12 states will be making their presidential preference known, and Minnesota is shaping up to be an important state for candidates in both parties.

March 1 is probably the most important day on the 2016 primary election calendar with around half of the delegates needed to win a party’s nomination up for grabs in the 12 states. There are 93 delegates for Democrats and 38 for Republicans at stake in Minnesota. Making the Land of 10,000 Lakes more important for some candidates than others.

Republican Marco Rubio made a campaign stop in Minneapolis Tuesday. The Florida senator spoke to a reported 1,600 supporters, support University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Political Science Professor Joe Heim said he will need come Super Tuesday.

“People have said this question, ‘Where is he going to win?’ They talk about it as being a three-person race, but he has not won a state yet,” Heim said.

Donald Trump is expected to win most of the 12 Super Tuesday elections, but Heim said Rubio needs to win a state to stay in the race and Minnesota could be the one.

Similar to Trump, Heim said Hillary Clinton is expected to do well Super Tuesday so Heim said Bernie Sanders is in a similar position to Rubio.

“In order to break the headline ‘Hillary Sweeps the states’ picking up a few states for Bernie Sanders is going to be very important,” Heim said.

Voter turnout in the 2008 presidential caucus was a record at 10 percent statewide. Republicans in Minnesota are expecting three times as many this year, Democrats predict less than 2008.

But both parties feel the candidates have indicated Minnesota’s importance to winning the nomination.

“It’s going to determine, largely, how many delegates from Minnesota go to Philadelphia to vote for the Democratic candidates that are running,” said Bob Youngerman, treasurer of the Winona County DFL Party.

“I definitely think there is a push for them to be heard here and be heard by our people,” said Lynae Hahn, chair of the Winona County Republican Party.

Heim said with Jeb Bush now out of the race, Rubio should be the candidate who benefits the most since he is the only one left from Florida.

The Minnesota caucus is Tuesday, March 1. Doors for each caucus will open at 6:30 p.m. with the caucus beginning at 7.

To find your caucus location click here.